My “wrong course” blog got some contrasting responses. One respondent who has bashed Obama almost from the beginning said “right on”. But I have not changed my mind about the promise and possibilities brought about by the historic election of Barack Obama. Another respondent, “D”, was disappointed in my strong criticism of Obama. Here is D’s comment and my reply:
I'm sorry I haven't written sooner. I have read your blogs and I have been in agreement with your ideas and sentiments. In fact I was happy that you were still an optimist, until this last blog: “the wrong course”. I think Obama needs this next year for us to see the results of all his efforts. I'm going to remain an optimist until then.
Of course I didn't want him to send more troops to Afghanistan, nor I'm sure did he, but he did announce he has "benchmarks" for Karzai and he did announce to the people over there that we are not there to "win" or to "bring democracy" to their land. Only to help them get trained to fight the Taliban and hopefully the Al Qaeda bordering Pakistan.... This is the part you are not happy about, but I'm still on the fence thinking it may be the smart thing for now.
I agree that he must get jobs for people to improve the economy at home; then more Americans will rally around Obama again. Poor man, he inherited this cesspool of trouble and we all want him to fix it in his first year as President. It would be easy if only we had a united Congress. The ultra-right is truly troublesome.
As you can tell from my earlier blogs, it was hard for me to write the latest one. I have not given up on Obama, but I am worried about the way things are going. I'm sure he knows that he has to re-inspire his supporters, who can't be expected to remain enthusiastic as their hopes give way to disappointments on domestic issues and dismay over another war escalation. He may lose the wavering Senate in 2010 and his presidency will be at great risk in 2012 if unemployment is high and a serious drawdown of the wars is not in progress. Given the ongoing crusade of the ultra-right, what a disaster that would be! I hate to think of Patraeus or McCrystal as Obama's successor. I would like to share your optimism, but I can't support the war and imperial aspects of US policy that remain dominant. I still have optimism that Obama's supporters can encourage his generally progressive aims and reignite hopes for real change. This is such a complicated and tough time. I respect your attitude as we both (along with many others) struggle to figure things out.